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Happening Now

News/Business. Jon Scott, Jenna Lee. Breaking news reports. New.

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Us 29, Boehner 13, Jon 12, Benghazi 11, Dr. Manny 7, Fred 6, New York 6, Esther 5, Chicago 5, John Boehner 5, Clinton 5, Fbi 5, Mike 5, Jenna 4, Washington 4, Obama 4, Newtown 4, Iran 4, Philadelphia 4, America 4,
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  FOX News    Happening Now    News/Business. Jon Scott, Jenna  
   Lee. Breaking news reports. New.  

    December 20, 2012
    8:00 - 10:00am PST  

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bill: had a little barry white working today. martha: you have the barry white thing going on. not going anywhere. we'll be right back tomorrow. that's right. bill: later. jon: right now, brand new stories and breaking news. jenna: new demands for answers in the terror attack in nghazi that killed four
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americans as state department leaders are grilled today on capitol hill in the aftermath of a report detailing what went wrong on september 11th. plus a showdown over the fiscal cliff as house speaker boehner presses ahead with a plan the president already said he will veto. where are we at now. if no fiscal deal is reached some new concerns your tax returns could be delayed. are we talking about taxes? it is not end of the year yet. we'll keep you updated. it is all "happening now." jenna: we have to keep you well-informed even when it comes to talking about taxes. jon: we pay them all year. it is just april 15th is a bad day. jenna: hi, everybody. we're glad you're with us on a thursday. i'm jenna lee. jon: i'm jon scott. members of the senate foreign relations committee coming down hard on state department leaders demanding
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answers why the consulate in benghazi was so vulnerable on september 11th. that is when terrorists attacked the compound and filled four americans including ambassador chris stevens. catherine herridge with the very latest from the capitol hill. what is the headlines this morning, catherine? >> reporter: thank you, jon and good morning. two themes really many donated at this morning's hearing. first of all we had 18 independent reviews before called accountability review boards. senators questioned whether any of them have been fully implement and and whether this one about benghazi would be any different. second of all the witnesses were pressed on a number of very specific warnings that went from libya up to the state department here in washington that this consulate could notwithstand a coordinated attack from terrorists. fox news was first to report on a emergency meeting in benghazi in august which people on the ground essentially predicted the way would die a month later.
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one senator said this morning that despite these warnings no action was taken. >> you were aware of the security risk there. we read the cables. you were fully aware. you either sent people there with security or you don't send them there. i don't understand why you didn't send a notification up with the cables coming in, with concerns about security, why didn't you do just you did with the arb, seeking additional fund? i don't understand? >> reporter: the response from the state department witnesses was really an understatement, that they should have done a better job and connecting the dots. they emphasized to the senator this morning they're taking the bull by the horns in this report and that they have taken these 29 recommendations. they have fully adopted them and then they divided those recommendations up into 60 distinct tasks. >> i had my first meeting two days ago with the steering committee and task force and divided, giving them time lines, dates, making sure we execute, many
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of them hopefully before the end of this calendar year and next up for the next secretary to come in and make sure we're executing rest of them. >> reporter: one senator charging this morning that he was very disappointed already the state department was seeking more money in the wake of this tragedy rather than looking internally at kind of changes they need to make and use the existing resources, jon. jon: so those hearings are still underway? what are we expecting this afternoon? >> reporter: we have another hearing two hours from now before the house foreign affairs committee and one of the critical questions that has not been asked or answered and probably and only be answered by secretary of state clinton is really policy question, an administrative question. why was it that the white house felt this light security print or footprint in libya was the right way to go when the intelligence on the ground clearly showed al qaeda and islamist groups were on the rise and the threat was growing? also we have had confirmation at least four senior people within the state department are being
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reprimanded. one has resigned, eric bosswell, the head of diplomatic security. the originalment by senators this went to the very top including the cables warning about the security situation in benghazi. they said it went to the 7th floor. that is really code for the executives offices and secretary clinton's office as well, jon. jon: that remark about the diplomats essentially predicting the way they die a month later, that is --. >> reporter: this is extremely important if i could just elaborate on that. fox news was the first to report on a classified cable that was september in mid-august. there was an emergency meeting in benghazi that was convened by the security people on the ground as well as representatives from the cia and they warned hillary clinton's office they would not withstand a coordinated attack and there were at least 10 islamist or al qaeda groups training in benghazi. they needed extra help. in the short term they would probably have to shut the consulate and colocate or move in with the cia annex.
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this is really the smoking gun warning. they predict how they're going to die a month later. and not only was security not enhanced in benghazi, it was further drawn down in those remaining weeks. this is the critical cable and the critical warning that senators were alluded to this morning. jon: it is really chilling when you hear about and read that kind of thing. great work, catherine. thank you. >> reporter: you're welcome. jenna: now we turn to the weather. fox news weather alert and winter storm warnings are in effect for much of the country today. a large system bringing blizzard conditions to the midwest and some tornados in the south. meteorologist janice dean here with more details on all of this. jd? >> i know. people are just trying to get home for the holidays. midwest travel will be affected throughout the day today, and across the south as jenna mentioned, tornado warnings and watches. the latest just issued across portions of florida up towards georgia until 6:00 p.m. central time.
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we have another tornado watch expected to expire 12:00 p.m. central time. tornado warnings north and east of pensacola up towards southern alabama. warnings meaning we're seeing strong rotation on doppler radar. watches meaning conditions are favorable for tornados. we've seen many tornado warnings throughout the morning. keep your head up if you live in this area. certainly some strong wind and some hail and we could see some tornados. the cold side of the storm bringing blizzard conditions and wends almost up to 50 miles per hour across a big stretch of the midwest. the areas that you see in red are blizzard warnings. so heavy snow, we've seen of sn. we could see two feet in some isolated areas. gusts of 50 miles plus and blowing snow. travel really not recommended in these areas. of course the airports are going to definitely feel the delays. i want to show you some wind gusts as the storm moves, 30,
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40, 50 miles an hour as you move to the upper midwest. we'll feel effects heading towards milwaukee and chicago tonight as the system moves into the northeast. it is a quick-mover have. it will be a rain wind event for the northeast and things clear out for the weekend. jenna: as we're headed to grandma's house. here we go. jd, we'll keep eye on developments next couple daysers my son's flight already canceled this morning. jenna: oh, no. jon: come home for christmas. jenna: he has a couple days. jon: he says tomorrow we'll hope. house republicans voting on plan b today. that is house speaker john boehner's alternative plan to avoid the fiscal cliff, a series of painful spending cuts and tax increases that will go into effect touching virtually every american on january 1st if no deal is reached by then. his plan b calls for a tax increase but only americans
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making more than a million dollars a year. the white house already promises to veto it. joining us now, joe trippi, the former howard dean campaign manager and a fox news contributor. lori:, i can't tell you how many times i heard the president say millionaires and billionaires ought to pay a little more than that fair share. so if you're earning a million dollars a year you're clearly in that category. the house speaker says let's raise taxes on those folks. why would the president not go along with that? >> well, i think, i mean two things. first of all. harry reid, majority leader of the senate says it can't pass the senate. won't have the votes there. jon: why? that's the why? >> well, look, i think you've got problems on both sides here. i mean, the you have democrats who don't want to move on medicare and social security and cost of living increases and those kinds of things. the president's moved on that. signaled that he is ready to go to chain cpi, change the way we do cost of living
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increases much to the chagrin of the democratic party. on other side you have boehner here, i think, still not clear how many republicans will vote for the million, tax increase on those who make over a million. i thought what was going to happen was the president would, you know, offer 400,000. boehner would do a million. they compromise at 750,000 or 500,000. that there would be a split, split it half, meet halfway. i just don't think that's going to happen. i think both sides mean it. it will not get past the senate. the president means he will veto it. part of that, jon, he has said over, he has run now twice, saying he would raise taxes on those making over 250,000 or more. and he seems to, i think, he thinks i won the election. i problem missed, that was the promise and that's where i'm going to draw the line. even he moved above that but i don't think it will go to
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a million, not where john boehner is. jon: you well know, a lot of folks in suburban, new york, long island, people decidedly not in white-collar job, two income couples earning a quarter of a million dollars a year, they are not in the millionaire and billionaire category and certainly don't thing themselves wealthy by any stretch of the imagination. how does the president sell a tax increase on that group? >> you're exactly right, jon. that is where chuck schumer, represents new york, made that case. he said a while ago he would be more comfortable at a million. like i said i thought what would happen we would be compromising somewhere around half a million mark as the cuttoff on the increase in rates. but i don't know. they, both sides seem to be pretty intransient. president at00,000 as the level he would increase -- 400,000. jon: there are questions whether john boehner has enough votes even in the house to get his plan b
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threw. he is scheduled to vote i understand it. he must think he will win on that score. you're saying that the president would rather veto a tax increase on that highest million and up income level americans rather than, he would rather do that and let us go off the cliff and, see everybody's taxes go up? >> i, you know, at this point of the game you just don't know whether people are bluffing. it is a huge game of chicken. and, on plate by both side right now. and as you said, i'm not even sure we'll see, but it's not clear that boehner has the votes to do this. i think most people thought that on a compromise, you could, you know, as boehner loses 40 or 50 votes, it's the president who has got to deliver that many more on the democratic side. it would take the two of them to put a majority together and get past all these concerns on, you know, within different factions of both parties but it's not clear that they are going to
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be able to find common ground to do that. jon: well, i guess we still have a little bit of time. not much. joe trippi, thanks for watching it with us. >> thanks, jon. jenna: fox news exclusive on some dramatic developments in the middle east today. intelligence sources confirming that iran is getting a sophisticated missile defense system in exchange for helping the syrian government fight against the rebl bells there. leland vittert live from our jerusalem bureau with more on this exclusive. leland? >> reporter: jenna, this certainly has the ability to change the strategic map here in the middle east, not only as relates from israel to iran but also from the sneets to iran. military planners are having to rework any type of attack on iran's nuclear facilities planned because these air defense systems have the ability to defend against whatever was planned. these were originally russian-made systems sold to syria. they are very sophisticated, something called the sa-17. they were designed to protect russian military
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bases icbm systems or russian cities from attack by u.s. and nato forces. they are mobile systems and easily camouflaged. for months we're reporting how iran is clandestinely resupplying syria, weapons, men, equipment during the civil war using unregistered cargo planes applying flying into syrian airports and offloading their cargo. we know what is going back to iran on the cargo planes. western intelligence sources confirming to us that the sa-17s are being loaded on flown back to iran. not only do they get back to iran they have sa-17s, iranians are sophisticated taking them apart, reverse engineering them and building more. the plans to attack iran's nuclear facilities by the united states or israel did not take into account the idea these facilities would now be protected by the sa-17s, changing a lot now here in the middle east, jenna. jenna: a story we'll
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continue to watch, leland. thank you. jon: a new film starring the matt damon takes on a controversial topic of fracking. there is campaign underway to counteract the message of that movie. we'll tell you about that. millions of dollars worth of gold coins found in most unexpected of places. we'll tell you how they were found and who gets the fortune. i love the holidays. and with my bankamericard cash rewards credit card, i love 'em even more. i earn 1% cash back everywhere, evertime. 2% on groceries. 3% on gas. automatically. no hoops to jump through. that's 1% back on... [ toy robot sounds ] 2% on pumpn pie. and apple. 3% back on 4 trips to the airport.
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jenna: welcome back,
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everyone. new information on a new matt damon film that takes on a controversial topic. it is called "promised land". this is about fracking when water and chemicals are injected you know ground at really high pressure to release natural gas. fracking has a been a boom for nation's energy supplies last few years but not without its critics and neither is the film. john robe berts live in atlanta. john? >> reporter: no question the natural gas industry has come under fire in a documentary film called gas land. there are fears in the industry a major hollywood theatrical production with big stars that looks at fracking in a negative light could spell real trouble. matt damon stars in "promised land" as a industry representative looking to lock up gas leases in farm country. john krasinski is a environmental activist is trying to stop him. >> know everything about
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your company. i know what you do. i know how to beat it. >> you know how --, wait, by, by, telling sob stories and --. >> reporter: damon and kras since ski who co-wrote the script together. it was about mining impact on salmon in alaska but they went in a different direction. >> john researched and came upon natural gas as a, as a great way to kind of explore american identity because the stakes are so unbelievably huge. >> reporter: when conservative blogs got a look at the script read to them more like a hit piece on tracking and one that would serve rally troops to raise even more protests against the prospect of natural gas and even though that is of great benefit to the country they say the environmental risks outweigh the benefits. charles ebinger is with the brookings institution. >> i think "promised land" could be a big problem just like i think back, impact
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china syndrome had on the nuclear power industry many years ago with jack nicholson. >> reporter: he says natural gas derived from shale in places like pennsylvania, west begin, ohio, texas and other places is an enormous opportunity for the country, one that president obama is fully on board with but he adds the opposition to this should not be underestimated and it is growing, jenna. jenna: john roberts live in atlanta. john, thank you. jon: just in, we'll take you live to washington. this is the number two republican in the house of representatives, house majority leader eric cantor. he is holding a news conference all about the fiscal cliff that is expected to be voted on, well, the plan b that we were just talking about, speaker boehner's plan. about expected to be voted on today. he is saying he is in favor of that bill. let's listen in. >> vote on the one million dollar cuttoff. making it more difficult to negotiate with the president? >> listen, our members
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understand that the nation faces largest tax increase in its history come january 1, 2013. this bill is a bill that provide permanent tax relief for taxpayers earning a million dollars and under. we protect 99.81% of american taxpayers from a tax increase in these very difficult economic times. we hope that the senate will take this bill up along with the spending reduction act and get the job done in lieu of, or absent any kind of agreement coming from the white house. we are again taking concrete actions to avoid the fiscal cliff. >> mr. leader, i know that this bill was presented last night, sequester, mirrors a piece of legislation on the floor earlier in year, why that not made immediately part of the plan b since there was a such a hue and cry from your conference the initial part of plan b did not deal with the sequester and added in rushed fashion
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last night when people still haven't seen the bill. >> listen, our members in our conference have consistently been focused on addressing the spending problem. as you know last year we have focused primarily on trying to --. jon: house majority leader eric cantor, the number two republican, advocating the passage of speaker boehner's plan b, the plan that would raise taxes on those making a million dollars and more in this country. as you heard, preserve the current tax situation for more than 99% of the other americans. we'll see whether it passes. we'll see whether the president follows through with his promise to veto that. we'll be back with more "happening now" in just a moment. this is streaming live for you on foxnews.com if you would like to continue watching. bacon and cheese add up to 100 calories? your world. ♪ [ whispers ] real bacon... creamy cheese... 100 calories... [ chef ] ma'am [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup.
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jenna: we just saw eric
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cantor talking about this plan b that speaker boehner has put forward today or yesterday. house republicans are gearing up to push that vote through and, as we approach the fiscal cliff we're getting word from the senate and the white house that this plan is really a nonstarter. all sides are digging in their heels and we're now less than two weeks away from this automatic tax hikes and spending cuts. but let's pause from the back and forth, the play-by-play. is anyone, anywhere, really addressing anything significant when it comes to what is best for the economy? let's break it down. >> take the deal. you know, they will be able to claim that they have worked with me over the last two years, to reduce the deficit more than any other deficit reduction package. that we will have stablized it for 10 years. that is a significant achievement for them. they should be proud of it. >> but clearly, they're not. >> we're going to begin to solve our debt problem and
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we're not going to be able to solve it by kicking the can down the road and doing all the gimmicks that have been done in the past. it is time to address our spending problem. >> will either party really ever do that? here's the inside washington reason why many are skeptical. let's take a look at the full scope and size of the government over the past five years. in yellow you see how approximately 10 billion of your tax dollars spent by our government in a day adds up to upwards of $3 trillion a year. now above that, in the red, that is the interest we're paying on that spending. well into the hundreds of billions of dollars. so when it comes time for washington to make cuts we lose some of that yellow, right? well, actually, no. you see this gray line right here? those are the cuts. lawmakers, when they're making cuts have ended up slashing away an amount of money that doesn't on cover the interest when they have
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been so-called, cutting. and we continue spending more each year. so what we're actually spending doesn't ever truly get cut. we never get into the yellow. jenna: thanks to "special report" for that. let's get analysis from one of the most well-respected and most well-known economist in the country. mark zandi, chief economist and cofounder of moody's economy.com. mark, seems like this is the time to talk about some of these big items in the economy but when we look at the fiscal cliff negotiations it seems disproportionate. small negotiations for a very big problem. tell us about that. is it disproportionate? is anything discussed right now going to affect the fate of this economy? >> yeah, i'm more optimistic, jenna. i do think that when it is all said and done, after all the back and forth in the political brinkmanship, we'll probably get a deal that will address long-term, our long-term deficits, scale back 2 1/2 trillion over 10 years.
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that is not what we need at the end of the day to solve our physical problems that is good step forward and good you have in to keep financial markets happy and recovery moving forward. doesn't feel like we'll get a deal that will be very substantive. but at the end of this process i'm still hopeful we will. jenna: we'll take optimism, mark, absolutely, especially this time of year. we need that hope we'll be in a better situation than we are. i'm curious when you think about what is he is about for the american people. because we talk about what is best politically for both parties but what is really best for us? what should be in this deal that would be best serving for the public? >> sure. three things. first, we have to scale back the tax increases. so some people will see their tax rates rise of the people in the high income groups but for most americans we have to insure that their tax rates do not rise. and second, we need to raise the treasury debt ceiling, at least for a year. would be nice to do it for longer. that is creating a lot of brinkmanship and making business people very nervous.
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so we have to raise that. the third thing we need 2 1/2 trillion dollar and 10-year deficit reduction. means government spending cults to entitlement programs primarily and tax revenue in increases. if policymakers do those three things then i think we'll be in okay shape. we'll not solve all our problems ad infinitum into the future but that would be sufficient, that would be enough to keep stock prices moving upward and economy moving forward. jenna: let's talk about the 10-year part of all of this because you mentioned earlier that what we want to see is a plan for the next 10 years. but some people look at that, okay, they will get a deal. they will say they will do something over the next 10 years and there is no guaranty they will do it. there is always something that happens in the country, natural disaster, war, anything. economists are like weather forecasters in that way. you have to account for the unexpected. >> right. jenna: what about those 10-year time frameworks. how should we even take that? >> well i think some of the spending cuts we're talking about here, implemented
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would be quite substantive. if both republicans and democrats agree to them i think they will be implemented. for example, changing the consumer price index that is used for adjusting social security, social security payments. if that is adopted, then i think that will mean substantive deficit reduction in the future. of course the tax increases, that will stick as well. so, i think the things we're talking about here, that the both republicans and democrats are considering, if they actually agree to them, they will be doond in a way that we'll actually see them being implemented. jenna: if they actually agree on them, right? that's the main point. you wrote this book, paying the price, ending the great recession, beginning a new american century. quick thought from you what 30 it 30 -- 2013 looks like? >> not too bad. as long as we get through fiscal issues we'll be in okay shape. by this time next year we'll be off and running because the housing market is making a big turn and that will provide a lot of juice to the economy.
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we need a little bit of luck and good policy making and we'll be okay. jenna: we'll look forward talking to you next year at the same time to see if the economy has taken off. that is something we all look forward to. mark, great to see you. happy holidays. >> thank you. jon: here is a measure of the economy. today is actually the buest day of the year for one of the world's largest shipping companies. adam shapiro live in louisville, kentucky, at ups international hub. adam? >> reporter: here's question for you. what do 28 million packages, 260 of those and your address have in common? ups, asap. while were you better get shipments soon when we come back. let's give thanks - for an idea. a grand idea called america. the idea that if you work hard, if you have a dream, if you work with your neighbors...
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you can do most anything. this led to other ideas like lerty and rock 'n' roll. to free markets, free enterprise, and free refills. it put a man on the moon and a phone in your pocket. our country's gone through a lot over the centuries and a half. but this idea isn't fragile. when times get tough, it rallies us as one. every day, more people believe in the american idea and when they do, the dream comes true. we're grateful to be a part of it.
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jenna: we'll stay with the economy a little bit now. biggest day of the year for ups the shipping company is planning to make 28 million deliveries today alone. that is more than 300 package as second. fox business is getting a behind-the-scenes look the journey the average package
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takes to arrive in time for christmas. adam shapiro at the world port international rare hub in louisville, kentucky with more. hi, adam. >> reporter: jenna, the largest facility in the country. you see that plane behind me? 260 planes shuttling packages throughout the world. 300 seconds a second today. it will be 500 million packages for the whole holiday season. see what is going on here? they're preparing all the containers to go worldwide. we shot video, want to show it to you, of the package going down the conveyor belt. pretty cool to see. there are 400,000 ups employees worldwide making your christmas packages arrive on time. in addition to all those people, they took on 55 thousand seasonal employees. they have 260 plus aircraft, what is one of the world's largest airlines delivering packages. at end of the day, this company posted $53 billion in revenue and they're just
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gearing up. this is their busiest day. this week is their basisest shipping week. they will double what they usually ship just in the days between the 17th of december and the 24th of december. when all is said and done the holiday shipping season for ups will be 500 million packages. but consider that they shipped $4 billion 35kages last year. this is pretty good for these guys. they're in pretty good shape. it is physical work. automation is great. takes the human element and they are here 24/7 to do that. jenna: so cool to see the package in the pathway getting to the right place eventually. adam, thank you very much. jon: some tough questions on capitol hill this morning. the senate foreign relations committee is demanding answer what is went wrong in benghazi on september 11th this year. that terror attack left four americans dead including ambassador chris stevens. anger is spilling over and a lot of talk about change coming from both sides.
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>> i looked at those people streaming through the front gate in benghazi. that wouldn't have taken that much to stop that attack if indeed they would have responded to it immediately. >> we learned some very hard and painful lessons this benghazi. we are already acting on them. we have to do better. >> the culture within the state department to me is one, that needs to be transformed. this committee can help. make the next secretary of state can help but the fact is there's a lot of work that needs to be done there. jon: joining us now, angela mcglowan, fox news political analyst. we know that sometime after susan rice spoke on those morning shows and said this was all about a spontaneous demonstration, and there was a lot of pressure at the white house to discuss who was ultimately responsible for all of this. hillary clinton stood up and said, the buck stops with me. so where is she right now? >> well, she's recovering.
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so i'm hopeful when she does testify in january she can answer some questions because basically there were systemic failures at the state department to give the embassy security. jon, under her husband's tenure we had several embassy bombings in sudan, tanzania, nairobi. did we not learn anything then? with the attack in benghazi there were several warnings this would happen and the ambassador asked for more protection. why didn't get it? jon: yeah, there were warnings as quickly as recently as day before there was going to be trouble. >> exactly. jon: the report says no individuals ignored or violated their duties and it recommended no discipline fairy action but if there were, the screw-ups at the highest level, systemic mistakes, at highest levels of the state department, it almost seems like a whitewash.
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>> why did people resign? why did your, what was it, your deputy assistants over security actually resign? you had four of them that resigned. so you don't leave your job if you're happy with your job or you did it right. there are some scapegoats, jon, i actually believe resigned and tip. however i think this is the tip of the iceberg. i think you will see more. right after the september 11th attack it was politicized. we had four americans that died and it was politicized so president obama could win re-election. jon: he was running for re-election and saying al qaeda was on the run and its leadership is decimated. >> bin laden is dead but the bottom line we had americans on sovereign land in libya that were killed, that asked for protection. and there are like 20 warnings that this would happen. why weren't those taken seriously? some people said we had poor intelligence. there are actual wires, there are actual e-mails
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where people from the embassy sent requests into the state department to get more protection. so i'm hopeful, with this first round of hearings, that we will come up with a system where this won't happen again but the buck does stop with hillary clinton. i think this is the black mark on her legacy and also on president obama's legacy. jon: give the horrors of what happened that night, i mean, okay, hindsight is 2020 but would it have been that terrible to send in a security team as the ambassador and his people had requested? what's the problem with putting more american fire power or protection on the ground in a titular friendly country. >> it wasn't because of funding. one congressman said this morning, no appropriation committee staffers were contacted from the state department they needed more money to give our embassies more security. and on september 11th, that is an anniversary that impacted all of our lives in the u.s. and we're attacked
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on that day. we weren't prepared. and president bush met with his intelligence team, his security advisors every day. president obama has not and he reads the actual report from the meetings, from his actual policy advisors. so the buck stops with the president obama and also hillary clinton. and obama said that he would bring these people to justice. where are they? jon: that's, well a question yet to be answered i guess. angela mcglowan, fox news political analyst. thank you. >> thank you. jon: jenna. jenna: upcoming tax season likely to pose new challenges for so many of us. find out why you may have to wait for file. it goes on and on for tax season. a live report coming up for you. a wedding celebration comes to a screeching halt when two guests start to rumble. closer look at the legal side of this viral video ahead. [screaming] begin.
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jon: some potential complications are now coming
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to light in the upcoming tax season. the good ol' irs commissioner is warning that if congress does not extend the alternative minimum tax patch, millions of taxpayers might have to wait to file their 2012 returns next year. wendell goler is live with his scratch pad at the white house. so why the delay, wendell, and what is this alternative minimum tax anyway? >> reporter: this is part of the fiscal cliff negotiation as you might suspect, jon. the amt limits value of deductions for people making more than a certain amount of money. congress raises that amount periodically with a patch so it doesn't hit the people it was aimed at 1969 when $40,000 a year was worth a lot more than it is right now. the problem the irs computers are programmed to figure in the patch and they would have to be reprogrammed before the irs could start processing amt tax returns. acting commissioner steven miller wrote house democrat sander levin, quote, this
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situation would create two significant problems. lengthy delays of tax returns and unexpectedly higher taxes for many taxpayers. miller said that the irs has to reprogram its computers, it might be late march before people affected by the amt could file their returns. house republicans will vote today on a bill that includes an amt patch with both parties want but democrats object to other parts of the bill, jon. jon: who pay this is alternative minimum tax? >> reporter: well the 2011 tax-exempted families making less than 75,550 a year and single taxpayers, $58,000 a year. if there is patch applied to 2012 it will hit families making $45,000 a year and single filers, making $33,750 a year. that means 30 million additional families who may not be aware they're subject tax join those already paying it.
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congressman levin said, quote there would be no clearer warning failure to act on fiscal cliff will throw the 2013 tax filing season into chaos. commissioner miller says 2/3 of country might have to wait to file returns until there is deal on patch. jon: let's say i get organized this year. i send in my return, end of january, which i've been known to do, jenna, you're laughing. >> i'm impressed. jon: i might not see a refund or whatever until, march, april? >> reporter: they might not be able to process your return, jon until congress and the president come to some agreement on the fiscal cliff deal which presumably would include another fix, another patch on the amt. jon: that's why people love the irs and congress so much these days. goal goal at the white house. we do love you though. >> reporter: thank you. jon: thank you. jenna: only supports procrastinators, right? so if you procrastinate you might get your return about the same time as someone
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early like jon who is super organized. >> i'm not. once in a while. once in a while. jenna: as we struggle to make sense what happened in newtown, connecticut we'll look at gun violence. is there a real growing epidemic when it comes to mass shootings in this country? we have some important facts an context you need to know, next. i have very well fitting dentures. i like to eat a lot of fruits. love them all. the seal i get with the super poligrip free keeps the seeds from getting up underneath. even well-fitting dentures let in food particles. super poligrip is zinc free. with just a few dabs, it's clinically proven to seal out more food particles so you're more comfortable and confident while you eat. a lot of things going on in my life and the last thing i want to be thinking about is my dentures. [ charlie ] try zinc free super poligrip.
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>> over these past five days a discussion has iaea merged what we might do to deter mass shoots in future but reduce the gun violence that plagues this country every single day. jenna: president looking for ways to curb gun violence since the newtown shooting s there epidemic of gun
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violence in the country and is it getting worse? that are important questions. according to the associated press, criminologists who study past shootings there is no real increase according to the mass shoots. one criminalologist, shows the soosted press, mass shootings rose from 1960s to 1990s but dropped in the recent decade. fbi data on shootings in general seems to follow a very similar pattern. that said although mass shootings may actually be less frequent. there is lot of numbers out there, one of factors out there they're more deadly. half of the deadliest mass shootings in this country have taken place over the last five years. rebecca coffey, author of murders most foul and the school shooters in our midst. she has done extensive research on this. rebecca, this is such an emotional story, newtown, we wanted to take a brief moment to talk about some of the facts whether it comes to school shootings so we can prepare to make whatever
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decisions we need to make ahead. what are some facts that you have come across that seem consistent in the school shootings that you have looked at? >> well it seems sometimes this is a new phenomenon. that it struck in the late '80s and went through the '90s but in fact the first school murder was in 1927. it was a school board member who detonated the local elementary school in bath township, maine, killing 37 students, children, elementary schoolchildren, and seven adults. so that makes it the single most deadly school massacre ever in america, far more than virginia tech. jenna: still, no matter how, we look at the frequencies, whenever there is a school shooting it rocks us at the core. so now we're at this question about, what should we do? and that's, that's a big question for us today. but when you think about your research, what rises to the surface? does some other patterns that you might see in school shootings? >> yes. the fbi spent a long time
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trying to compile a school shooter profile and what they came up with was a description of the typical young male. jenna: typical young male. >> so it was useless. the secret service in 2002 did a study and realized that 81% of the perpetrators of massacre at school had told someone beforehand what they were about to do. jenna: they had telegraphed it? >> they telegraphed it. jenna: it was not top secret? >> right. typically they're not impulsive actions. they're very well-planned. columbine, for example was planned for over a year. virginia tech was planned long enough for cho to prepare a manifesto. to prepare videotapes to send to nbc. that is the pattern, tat they're well-planned. and during the planning phase the perpetrator is so filled with emotion that he tells somebody. sometimes he tells many
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people and that gives us the information we need and the time we need to stop them. jenna: if it is out there so obviously, why couldn't they be stopped? >> why couldn't they be stopped? partly i think there is a code among children to not turn each other in. jenna: no one wants to be a tattletale. >> no one wants to be a tattletale. i think things like zero tolerance policies in schools get in the way because, let's say we're on the playground and you say, i'm so mad i could kill somebody. i know you're kidding but what if you're not and i tell the school counselor? you're going to be expelled whether or not you were kidding. jenna: that actually works against you. >> it works against us, yes. jenna: we don't know in this case what if anything this killer told anyone. >> we don't know. jenna: but based again your research quickly here, what's the suggestion you come up with as something that should be done somewhat immediately? >> i looked very closely
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into what the fbi is saying and what the fbi is saying makes very good sense which we need to train teachers, school counselors and community mental health providers and law enforcement how to identify the threat that kids make and how to separate the wheat from the chaff, so they're not chasing every silly threat but they know, they get committees together of counselors, law enforcement, teachers. jenna: sure. >> so you know each kid from several angles and you know what to do with that kid. so --. jenna: we'll see if that comes up in the president's task force he is putting together for the new year. rebecca, nice to have you with us. thank you for the sometime. >> thank you very much. jenna: we'll be right back
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jon: a fox news alert and plan b is the story of the hour. republicans offering back-up plans to avoid the crippling tax hikes and automatic spending cuts, but still no sign of an
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agreement. it's a brand new hour of "happening now." we welcome you, i'm jon scott. jenna: we need a little holiday spirit, right? jon: yeah. jenna: hi, everybody, i'm jenna lee, and right now we're waiting for the house to vote on two separate bills to cut taxes and reduce spending. but even if the house approves the plan, there's little chance they'll pass in the senate. speaker boehner is trying to build support for his so-called plan b that jon just mentioned. some republicans are likely to vote against it because it doesn't lock in spending cuts. they blame the president and senate democrats for creating this crisis. >> if the president and harry reid wanted to be serious about this, they could have taken those bills up in september. this is a crisis of their making. they wanted to push it down to the final minutes, and i think a lot of our constituents are looking at this and saying, you know what? we want them to begin to get serious about some of the spending cuts and putting this on the solid footing.
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jenna: oh, but the finger pointing is fair and balanced. democrats complain that boehner's plan doesn't do enough to protect the middle class. >> we are calling on our colleagues to work together to achieve a tax system and fiscal compromise that protects america's middle class families and cares for all of our communities. the american people have been clear, they will not economic approach that places too large a burden on the middle class, on seniors, on students in the most vulnerable americans while asking too late of the wealthiest -- too little of the wealthiest americans. jenna: mike emanuel in the thick of things on capitol hill. so, mike, the idea is one thing for the republicans, do they actually have the votes? >> reporter: well, jenna, republican leaders insist they will have the votes when push comes to shove. it's been a very heavy lift because conservative groups have come out and said republicans should not support plan b, they don't like the idea on raising taxes on anybody. but here is the house majority
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leader selling plan b. >> we protect 99.81% of american taxpayers from a tax increase in these very difficult economic times. we hope that the senate will take this bill up along with the spending reduction act and get the job done in lieu of or absent any kind of agreement coming from the white house. >> reporter: i should point out we expect to hear from speaker john boehner is about an hour or so. it'll be interesting to listen to his tone. but other leading republicans i've spoken with today say bottom line we're less than two weeks from going over the fiscal cliff, and so they felt like it was important to move along with a plan b in case plan a with the white house doesn't come through. jenna? jenna: cull it a -- call it a gut check, but democrats probably feel differently about this, mike. what's their take? [laughter] >> reporter: well, that's right. they don't like these two bills that they felt like were thrown together at the last minute. one, plan b, of course, and the
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other one would avoid the sequester, those automatic cuts and also cut spending. so they feel like this has all been kind of thrown together. here is a leading democrat on that front. >> it'll be a totally closed process. you send it back over to the senate, and then you leave town. you all leave town and say, you know, throw your hands up and say it's in the hands of the senate. what an irresponsible way to legislate. >> reporter: we've heard bipartisan complaints that they feel like the system is broken, but it is the system that we have, and the fiscal cliff is out there just less than two weeks away. majority leader cantor says that the house republicans are not going to just pass this and leave town, so we're in watch and see mode, essentially, to see how this all plays out in the hours ahead, jenna. jenna: mike, i want to ask you about something that just came in to our urgents by ed henry. he says this: senior administration officials are now telling people they have been told by republicans that the
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reason the speaker turned to plan b is that he concluded that he could not get sufficient republican support to the offer that he met, he got with the president over the weekend. so, mike, ed is saying that the implication is that the white house is trying to add to what was said in the news conference yesterday, that boehner can't control his conference, that it comes down to that. what's your sense of that? is that something that's buzzing around capitol hill as well? >> reporter: well, look, there are a lot of republicans, jenna, who do not like the idea of raising taxes on anybody. they don't see after the election that they were reelected -- remember, the house republicans were reelected largely -- and so speaker boehner is still the speaker of the house, and so they don't think they were sented back to capitol hill to raise taxes on anybody. so the speaker may very well have gotten an invitation from his caucus that there was not support for some of the negotiations that were going on between the president and the speaker. and so bottom line is if you're worried about the economy going off the fiscal cliff and sending the economy into recession,
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perhaps you do go to plan b to say let's try to make sure we don't go into a recession. jenna: let's try and make a deal. we'll see if they can, mike. thanks to reaction from some of that breaking news, and we'll be back to you on capitol hill as the drama unfolds. thanks. >> reporter: thank you. jon: so the pressure is on as we head into the final days before christmas and the new year, a time when lawmakers are usually looking forward to a long holiday vacation. will they reach a last minute compromise, or will they send us all over the fiscal cliff? let's talk about it with ab stoddard. i should sing this line from your column, ab, but i'll spare you. you say there are signs that compromise is coming to town. >> i don't know if it's going to happen by christmas. i don't think it will, but i think they're going to come to town after christmas, and i think they're going to do something before december 31. there's a lot of doom can ask gloom and a lot of posturing, but if you read between the lines, they are close enough for, i think, the white house to
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actually come up with more spending cuts, tinker with the social security inflation measure and do some things to move this ball. and i think it's going to happen. jon: interesting that information that jenna was just telling us about from ed henry at the white house, he is saying speaker boehner put forward plan b because he didn't think he could get enough votes to go along with the plan that he and the white house were cobbling together. the expectation has been that a lot of conservatives wouldn't like plan b, but maybe it's just the opposite. >> well, um, you know, they are whipping that hard today. i spoke with leadership members, and they are, they're really doing -- they're pleased with the count they have so far. they are not there yet, but it is their intention to pass it, and they have found in the last couple days that some of the members they didn't expect to ever be onboard are onboard, and the sort of group within the house republican conference that bailed on other votes in the past are, that group is diminishing. and so there's actually some
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optimism that they can do this. now, if they don't, it shows the white house that they need more spending cuts. if they do pass it, they've shown the public they decent to go -- they don't want to go over the cliff. so as much as house speaker john boehner's being criticized for plan b, it was something that he had to do to move one or the other side, and like i said, the sides are movable, just probably not by christmas eve. sphwhrn. jon: and will the president veto plan b? we'll see, so many questions. a.b. stoddard from "the hill," thank you. >> thanks. jenna: an extreme weather alert, a severe storm system triggering tornado sirens in alabama today. also in mississippi as well. you're seeing some video we just received from alabama earlier. winds already are damaging rooftops and overturning trucks and knocking down trees. authorities say the storm cut power to some 18,000 customers. so far no reports of any serious injuries. we'll take that as a good sign for now. jon: that same storm system is
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causing deadly blizzard conditions across the midwest. it could disrupt travel plans for millions of americans heading out for the holidays. states from kansas to wisconsin are getting hit with heavy snow and dangerous winds. but the travel nightmare could ripple all across the country. all of this comes after several midwestern cities set records for the most consecutive days without any snow. the travel nightmare could get worse as this weather system heads east. jenna: we're going to head to jon's home state of colorado right now. denver is digging out from some of the worst of the snow that's out there. alicia acuna's standing by live for us about to make jon jealous, i'm sure. alicia? >> reporter: that's right. we always make jon jealous this time of year. hello, jenna and jon. this is a storm that hit the rocky mountain region first and then headed east, and as many people already know, it is creating a lot of problems for people on the road and those folks actually trying to fly somewhere for the holidays. let's begin in nebraska where
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forecasters are saying that parts of that state could get up to 10 inches of snow. strong winds creating blizzard conditions in omaha where airlines took the preemptive step of canceling all early morning flights. and in des moines drivers are being told to hold off to either not hit the road at all or at the very least to take it very slow. many of these midwestern states seeing school closures as well due to the heavy blanket of snow, but also some saying it is a bit of relief to see some precipitation in what has been an unusually dry season. >> i have four-wheel drive, and i have a husband that'll come get me if i get stranded. beautiful and serene in my eyes. i think we need this. >> i love it. i've been waiting for it for, like, a month and a half. my parents have always educated me on proper snow, you know, driving, so i've always done really well. >> reporter: sadly, though, in wisconsin it was the slick roads that proved deadly for two people about 90 miles northwest of chicago. of sheriff's officials say a man
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lost control of his vehicle due to ice killing himself and another person. in utah a woman trying to walk for help after her car got stuck in the snow, rescuers found her body a few miles from her car. because of the dangers and the delays, airlines like delta and united airlines are now waiving those change fees because a lot of folks are getting their schedules knocked around because of the weather. so that's the latest from here and, jenna, please let jon know that i'm pretty sure i hear the slopes calling him. i know i hear them. [laughter] jenna: it's funny, i think he hears that year round, alicia. >> reporter: that's true. jenna: there he is, jon looking a little bit like -- you get kind of wispy-eyed. jon: that wistful i haven't skied yet this season kind of thing. jenna: alicia, thank you so much. jon: thank you, yes. the storm, of course, is moving on, but where is it headed? chief meteorologist rick reichmuth in the fox news extreme weather center. >> reporter: jon, you and me both. they had such a bad season for
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snow all across the mountains of the last year, they're getting some now. iowa kind of the bull's eye of the heaviest snow, over a foot or so. but with all the dry conditions they've had, the snow is exactly what they need. but it's going to be a little bit rough going. most of the snow is over at least across central and western iowa, but a very heavy band across eastern iowa. we still have blizzard warnings, because the snow that's fallen, it's very windy behind it. you've got to stay off the roads right now, but overall, you know, the snow's so beneficial for them. and most areas here have broken records for the longest they've ever gone without snow on the ground, that changing today. chicago one of those areas. that's going to change. there is a stormy side to this, at least a severe storm side, and we've seen those pictures of what happened in mobile overnight. we still have tornado warnings and watches in effect until 6 p.m. right now only some severe thunderstorm warnings, but we
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could see some rotation causing severe weather. throughout the afternoon and into the evening as the front moves on to the east, we'll see that threat across the northern parts of florida and mid atlantic. very heavy rain moving across the northeast tonight and tomorrow, also possibly causing delays in those airports. jon: rick reichmuth, thank you. >> reporter: you bet. jenna: the heart ache in newtown, more funerals today for those precious lives lost in the murder of those children. a special message from timothy cardinal dolan ahead. plus, elsewhere how did a gun bought by a federal agent end up at a crime scene? what this may have to do with the botched fast and furious operation. we'll get you caught up on that. and some lighter fare for you as well. with christmas only five days away, we have a very special visitor in the studio, the elf on the shelf. he's watching us, jon, he is. and reporting back to santa. we're going to tell you how these elves are keeping kids everywhere on their best behavior. a true american dream story
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ahead for you on "happening now." jon: you better be careful. ♪ [ loud party sounds ] hi, i'm ensure clear... clear, huh? i'm not juice or fancy water. i've gotine grams of protein. that's three times more than me! [ female announcer ] ensure clear. nine grams protein. zero fat. in blueberry/pomegranate and peach. [ sniffs ] i took dayquil but my nose is still runny. [ male announcer ] truth is, dayquil doesn't treat that. really? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus fights your worst cold symptoms, plus it relieves your runny nose. [ breathes deeply ] awesome. [ male announcer ] yes, it is. that's the cold truth!
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jon: more funerals for the innocent lives lost in the connecticut shooting tragedy. 7-year-old grace mcdonald to be laid to rest along with 6-year-old benjamin wheeler, catherine hubbard and allison wyatt.
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reading those names just staggering, recently. also ann marie murphy, a teacher. she died protecting the children she loved. new york's cardinal, timothy dolan, delivering the homily at her funeral mass a short while ago. peter doocy has more for us now live from newtown, connecticut. >> reporter: and, jon, cardinal dolan ghei a beautiful homily at the only funeral service for a victim held in his new york archdiocese. we know that ann marie murphy died trying to shield a scared special needs student from the shooter, and today cardinal dolan said like jesus, annie was an excellent teacher. she had a big, tender place in her heart for children, especially those with struggles. investigators are struggling to figure out what made mass herder ads am lanza tick. his cell phone hardly every made or received calls and his
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computer was damaged so badly, it'll be hard to figure out what he was looking at online before friday. the attorney general, eric holder, is going to come to sandy hook later on today. he's part of the obama administration's effort to figure out what the federal government can do to avoid future school shootings. meanwhile, crews are working hard to make sure the school that displaced sandy hook students will attend, chalk hill middle school, is as close to an exact replica of the inside of sandy hook as possible. desks and paint on the wall, cubbieses, even the cay ons on the desk are going to be as close to identical as possible, and we're hearing reports from the new hampshire register that those surviving students are going to go back to school at chalk hill in monroe on january 2nd after the holidays. jon? jon: peter doocy reporting live. peter, thank you. jenna: well, authorities are now trying to find out the cause of a massive 35-car hill-up, a -- pile-up, a major highway near new york city closed down all night because of this.
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new information on what potentially caused it. and it's probably fair to say most of us would like a long, healthy life. is she going to make it? she gets up and down. a new test that might just tell us how long we'll live. you can do it along with us at home. dr. manny will explain. we look pretty good so far. jon: that's our staff, there her! jenna: all right, more on that ahead.
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jenna: "happening now," congressional investigators want to know how a gun bought by an atf agent was found at the scene of a shootout between mexican soldiers and cartel members along with the weapon linked to operation fast and furious, the botched federal gun-walking operation. william la jeunesse is live from
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los angeles with more on all this. >> reporter: well, how does a gun belonging to a top cop, the second man in charge of fast and furious, end up at a crime scene a thousand miles from phoenix three years after it is purchased alongside a weapon from the top criminal that he's chasing? coincidence or crime? well, this story begins to unravel last month when mexican police got in a shootout with a cartel. killed in the battle was mexican beauty queen maria gamas. police also recovered several weapons including one traced to the biggest buyer of fast and furious guns. so that wasn't a big surprise. but the second weapon was. it belonged to the number two guy at atf in phoenix, assistant director george gillett, who oversaw the fast and furious investigation. then it's learned that gillett fails to follow the very law that he enforces when he filled out the forms used to buy the
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guns. twice he used his office arrest, then he used a strip mall for a second address rather than his residential address as required. >> we have every reason to believe that the addresses that he gave were wrong addresses, and it was -- that could be a fraudulent violation of law. a felony violation of law. >> reporter: now, gillett did not return our calls, but he did tell another media outlet that he sold the gun on the internet, and somehow it landed in mexico. some are not buying that. grassley wants to know if he himself was trafficking guns or doing so with department approval because unlike just letting guns go with the bad guys being smugglinged to mexico, jenna, did the atf do it itself and try to hide it? that is the question investigators are look at today. jenna: wow. that's a big question. a lot of bizarre twists and turns there.
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william, we'll stay on it. thank you so much. jon: right now authorities in the new york are investigating a massive pile-up involving dozens of cars that left one person did. harris is on it, she's in the newsroom for us. >> reporter: we're starting to hear from some of the people who survived this thing. now we're told by police it involved 35 vehicles. take a listen. >> it was just like a movie, and it -- chain reaction. of it was just so fast. no one could react to it. >> reporter: you saw that woman had her little one in her arms. also in the car, we understand. the long island expressway is back open today in this area east of new york city in shirley, new york. a big rig, we now know, somehow smashed into several vehicles at first. that set off the chain reaction. sending cars across several hundred yards of the eastbound lanes. one person died, 33 others hurt. and this detail surfacing, that big rig was hauling debris from superstorm sandy. as you may know, long island
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communities were hit hard in october. at one point some of the vehicles in the crash caught fire. one burned beyond recognition. police looking into why the tractor-trailer that started this whole thing with the first batch of cars hit those cars. jon? jon: and there wasn't snow or fog or anything like that, just -- >> reporter: you know, i haven't read anything weather related. again, they are looking into what caused that initial crash, but so far there's nothing on the roadway to lead you to say, aha, okay, it was fog dwi. we don't know yet. jon: harris faulkner, thanks. jenna: well, it really reads like a movie script. two inmates escape from a jail, they use bed sheets to scale the wall, they jump into a cab, and just like that, they're gone. we have the latest on the manhunt for the men authorities say should be considered armed and dangerous. and, jon, he's watching us. jon: no. jenna: hopefully, a lot of people are watching us, but he's
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really watching us. the el on the shelf. we're going to talk to the woman who brought these elves down from the north pole -- with help of santa, of course -- and into so many homes. an amazing christmas story, next. [ male announcer ] it's simple physics... a body at rest tends to stay at rest... while a body in motion tends to stay in motion. staying active can actually ease arthritis sympto. but if you have arthritis, staying active can be difficult. prescription celebrex can help relieve arthritis pain so your body can stay in motion. because just one 200mg celebrex a day can provide 24 hour relief for many with arthritis pain and inflammation. plus, in clinical studies, celebrex is proven to improve daily physical function so moving is easier. celebrex can be taken with or without food. and it's not a narcotic. you and your doctor should balance the benets with theisks. all prescription nsaids, like celebrex, ibuprofen, naproxen, and meloxicam
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jon: right now the search is widening for a pair of escaped inmates as police learn more how they got way. harris joins us once again with the latest on that. the harris? >> reporter: jon, authorities have been raiding houses and going through records trying to find anybody with ties to the two inmates who broke out of the downtown federal prison in chicago. and there is surveillance video they're taking a close look at. it shows the two men in their orange prison garb, grabbing a cab as supposedly their getaway car. kenneth conley, joseph banks, now-infamous for using bedsheets tied together and scaling some 20 stories down the high-rise penitentiary
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to freedom. a pair of convicted bank robbers on the run with new developments the fbi is hoping to turn back to their prison cells. they were cellmates, by the way. fbi is offering a $50,000 reward leading to the information to the arrest of conley and banks. the way they busted out of a movie sounds like a movie. same high-rise, 20 years ago, same location where convicted murderer and accomplice busted out a window and used bedsheets and electrical cord to descend six stories to the ground. the search for conley and banks now focused on suburbs of the city of chicago. if you see these two men, or have information on them, call the number there on the your screen. do not approach the men. call the number. 800-225, 5324. jon. jon: they were 200 feet up in the air roughly and shimmied down on bedsheets? harris faulkner.
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all right. i think harris can't hear us. quite a story. thanks, harris. >> what have you got here? >> it is our very own "elf.". ♪ . do you see him? what should he be. jenna: time now for our spotlight on small business. a holiday edition for you. we're taking a look at business owners and entrepreneurs who have managed to really thrive in this very tough economy. our next guest came up with an idea that is quickly becoming becoming a new christmas tradition. an elf that talks to santa. got one, jon? jon: i do have an elf. jenna: she is the coauthor of elf on the shelf. story behind this. wrote it with her mother.
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co-ceo of creative activities and books. i have to start off with the hard-hitting stuff first. what is your relationship like with santa clause? >> i'm one of the most blessed individuals in the world because it is my job to work for santa claus and help families adopt elves. my mom, my sister and i work really hard to make sure elves get very good homes for santa claus. jenna: tell us about your story and how you are able to develop such a good relationship with mr. claus? >> we are close personal friends. when i was growing up santa claus used to send an elf to my home. as a little girl i remember talking to the elf and what i wanted for christmas. when i grew up and had children of my only wanted an elf that came from santa claus. my mom and i got permission from santa to write a story about elf tradition. the elf used to visit us. we set out on the journany
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to write the story and share it with the world. jenna: we're trying to preserve the sacred tradition as some viewers might be well aware we don't want to give too much away. it is important you do have such a good relationship with santa claus out of all due respect for him. you had to dig deep into your heart and really pull from somewhere this is, our dream to bring this tradition to so many other people is going to come true and i'm curious, a couple years ago, it dwint look like it was going to be a such a success. what brought it together the last couple years and where did that deep belief and faith in your business come from? >> well, you know there is a lot of faith and a lot of belief in spirit of the christmas and in what we do and helping families create special family moments. you know, it was a very difficult journey. you know, we had to write the book and self-publish it. of course santa sends the elves to us. but that was our job to
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write this story and share it with the world. at the time when we launched in 2005 no one had any idea about an elf that talked to santa. you know the elves were probably at that point invisible but, yeah, so it was a really incredible journey to have to take this leap of faith. we invested, you know, all of our own money. there was vry little of it. you know, i cashed in good credit and we started the company on credit cards. my sister sold a house and put proceeds in. my parents cashed in a very small 401(k) account so we could get this first order of books in because no one wanted to publish this story but santa always finds a way. jenna: spirit of christmas is always there. i made a mistake, earlier because i picked up the elf. i think that is not something i'm supposed to do. >> oh, well, you don't want, you don't want to up to the elf. he can lose his christmas magic. it is very fragile. i'll tell you what, unless your elf has been given a
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name, then it hasn't come to life yet. jenna: ooh. >> there are very special ways you can revive the magic of your elf. you can sprinkle cinnamon. you can sing christmas carols. our office, our staff does a great job at elf on the shelf headquarters helping people revive the christmas magic of their elf. jenna: okay. >> santa has ways to bring magic back. jenna: not all hope is lost. you mentioned your team. this business went from you, your mom and your sister, selling some of these books out of the back of your car a couple years ago to now a much bigger affair. i'm curious about hiring and who will you may be adding to your team? does it look like there is growth in the year ahead? >> oh, absolutely. we are actually launching a new book. santa is always working on something at the north pole for 2013 and, we have gotten amazing staff of people who really believe in working for santa claus and the job that we have ahead of us of helping families create very
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special memories and special family moments. and that's unique in this day and age. you know, the elf on the shelf is very simple. it is a fun tradition that the entire family can participate in, you know. and so it's a big journey. it is a big job to work for santa but we've got a crew here in the southern branch of the north pole. jenna: it can be tough sometimes. it gets a little stressful around christmas. >> it does, because we make sure that, you know, millions of elves find good homes. so it's a very important job but it's a special one nonetheless and our staff does a great job, taking phone calls. jenna: you know what i love about this elf? it is like a fox news correspondent. he is out in the field and he reports back. >> that's right. jenna: journalists understand everywhere. it is really a phenomenon. a true business phenomenon. i encourage our viewers to check it out a little bit more and maybe suggest names because we have not named our studio elf yet and we could use good suggestions
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of the so we'll turn to our viewers for that. congratulations on an amazing business story. we so appreciate you joining us today. her criminal christmas. >> thank you so much. merry christmas. a great opportunity. we appreciate it. jon: a great story. jenna: i was going to say jon scott right away with the elf name but know offense. jon: needs more of a holiday name. jenna: we'll take suggestions the maybe by the end of the show we'll have a name for our elf. jon: great story. there are new developments in a wedding fight caught on video that went viral. the brawl got even uglier when police showed up. now two men are facing trial? we'll look at the evidence and the legal issues. [screaming] i always wait until the last minute. can i still ship a gift in time r christmas? yeah, sure you can. great. where's your gift? uh...
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whew. [ male announcer ] break from the holiday stress. ship fedex express by december 22nd for christmas delivery.
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[screaming]
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jenna: probably remember this story. we have some new fallout from that violent wedding fight caught on camera last october. two men are now facing trial for attacking police officers who were responding to this fight. one wedding guest during all of this had a heart attack and died. the defendant's lawyers claim police testimony is really inconsistent and this is case of mistaken identity. is there enough evidence to get a conviction here? let's bring in our guests today. former federal prosecutor fred tease eout of philadelphia appropriately. fred, it not fight, actual fight the behavior with the cops. how strong is this case? >> well, you know, it's interesting, jenna. i mean the fact of the matter there are four basic fundamental legal principles going on here. it is in the constitution the law does not protect the stupid. ignorance of the law is never a defense. here ignorance of the fact
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you're not supposed to punch a police officer and then not, really not supposed to do it when caught on videotape. so the defense lawyers last week or earlier this week saying the cop's story was inconsistent. that is what defense lawyers do. if the story was really consistent, they would be saying story is too consistent. they got together. cooked it up. it is on tape. more than ample evidence. jenna: esther, the charges were dropped to lesser offense from aggravated assault to recollectionless endangerment and simple assault. are these guys going to prison? >> it doesn't seem likely. if the charges were dropped and these were initial officers that actually pressed these charges, then there is inconsistency between what they believed happened at the time and later upon reflex with the district attorney's office what really may have happened. there is inconsistency. anytime you have a police officer that is not the neutral party between two sides but actually the alleged victim, you have to look at their motivations and their ability to observe
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just like any other witness. they don't get, they don't get the benefit of being neutral and trying to decide between two different stories. they are actually the alleged victims in this case. so their testimony needs to be weighed just like anybody else's testimony. jenna: go ahead, fred. >> but you know what, jenna? what you're see something why esther is such a great defense lawyer. defense lawyers want to look at everything but the evidence. hear them telling jury, ladies and gentlemen, even though they're on videotape and we have eyewitness accounts that these people were beat up. you can't convict because of the moon in the 7th house if it is in the age aware cause which is what everybody else is talking about. they punched a police officer whether ag assault or simple assault they will be found guilty and spend 90 days in the local correctional institute and try the buffet out and find out new meaning of the term. honeymoon. so they're going to jail. jenna: there is lot there. music lyrics, honeymoon and
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catering to get through. esther, an important part of the story not specifically related to this case someone did die in the chaos of all this. >> yes. jenna: those that are charged with these assault charges that as you mentioned have been downgraded a little bit, they're not, they're not on trial for that but that's does that change the case in any way knowing what level of chaos it reached? >> well, it makes it that much more horrible and much more of a tragedy for everybody involved. these people are not being charged with his death because i don't think there is any nexus between his death and what they allegedly did to some police officers. so i believe that is why they're not being charged. it is just a horrible event. really people should be happy at a wedding not punching each other out. that being said, just because there is this death does not mean there should be collective punishment against the individuals who are not responsible. my understanding that the officers couldn't necessarily place these defendants and, as, postively identify them. if that is the case --.
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jenna: it is a crazy scene. you look at it. fred, go ahead. >> can't blame everybody else. jenna: fred, go ahead. even with the video, this was shot by the way by a young man who happened to come down from the hotel room and heard all of this. it is difficult to completely make out. even though there is video, is there enough evidence here? >> well, that, there was enough evidence to hold the case over for trial and that will be for the jury to decide. don't forget, we have the testimony from the officers. this took place three blocks where i'm sitting in really upscale hotel. at the time the incident happened it was fairly big news down here, the uncle of the bride, who was 57 years old, actually walked outside from where this took place, about 20 yards from what you see in the video and died of a heart attack. a lot of people looked to see whether or not ultimately could be charged being responsible for the death. esther is absolutely right. you can't blame these two guys were basically in an old-fashioned brawl with the death of this guy which was tragic and, arguably
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foreseeable as a result of a brawl but nobody's responsible for that. jenna: esther, just as a side note, we don't really know what started the whole thing even to begin with. that goes to your point. fred, do you know? >> actually general ma, what happened, two brothers in one wedding party who got into fistfight. something flew. two wedding parties. obviously alcohol was involved. they gathered at bar and the think breaks out into a melee. jenna: esther, quick final thought. you said it well. tragedy no matter. this is supposed to be happy day and didn't turn out to be that way. >> right. very sad. >> next time i'm in philadelphia i will hang out with friends, not go into lobbies. >> wow!. >> hang out with fred. jenna: he has fast talking. near different events. our own rocky balboa in philadelphia. >> in old fashions melee, philadelphia is ground zero. jenna: as we mentioned it is a tough case. it is tough because what is happening on a special day for two families. esther, fred, nice to have you. >> merry christmas.
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>> thank you. jon: well, as we approach the longest night of the year the medical advice to turn out the lights when you go to bed to improve your mental health. can lights at night make you depressed? plus a medical study that made us sit up and take notice. can you get up from the floor without --. jenna: that is little shaky there. jon: there is our dear leader. dr. manny. not sure what he is working on but, he will tell us how to extend your life. [ loud party sounds ] hi, i'm ensure clear... clear, huh? i'm not juice or fancy water. i've gotine grams of protein. that's three times more than me! [ female announcer ] ensure clear. nine grams protein. zero fat. in blueberry/pomegranate and peach.
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jenna: well the doctor is in and you've probably heard
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the term, mood lighting before in reference to romance. well a new study from researchers as johns hopkins university say mood light something a real thing. if you're falling asleep with a lot of lights on at night, you might be seriously disrupting your state of mind. dr. manny alvarez, senior managing editor for foxnewshealth.com and a member of our fox news medical a-team. dr. manny, i'm so guilty of this. why is it a problem? >> what are you guilty of? jenna: no, leaving all the lights on at night and falling fast asleep. my husband says i have to go around turning off all the lights so. >> well, you know, look, we know lights affect our moods. we talk about seasonal effective disorder. sometimes in the wintertime in the northeast you want to have certain types of light during the day. however, a lot of folks with all the electronics that we have and somehow they get into this habit of, you know, dimming the lights but really not turning them off.
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ultimately what happens is there are cells in your retina at that really don't shut down, that creates a chemical reaction in your brain. in animal studies, very well done by the way, indeed there was alteration in their mood and signs of depression and anxiety. jenna: dr. manny, if i could, it was interesting with mice. it didn't disrupt the sleep. not like the mice kept waking up. but made them depressed and easy to forget things. could someone feel they're getting good night's sleep even though the lights are on but have other effects because they're not getting rest? >> that is absolutely right. turn as many lights off. let your brain rest. in reality even if you keep lights on you will still get that reaction in your retinal cells. this is basically telling you, day time, use adequate lighting. nighttime, turn them off because it is going to
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affect your mood. jenna: what about night lights for kids? >> no, i don't think so that it is a good idea. do it as purpose to get around. it is not good to leave light on at night for any reason. it affects the pattern of sleep. ultimately it could affect you. kids are little. they're young, it is not a big problem. people like myself, we want everything dark. jenna: we have to get to the next study as well, dr. manny. jon you want to take the mantle for this one. jon: this is called the sit test. jenna: literally a test. jon: people getting up there in years. the challenge to sit cross-legged on the floor and see if you can rise without going to your knees, without touching your knees to the floor or without using your hands. doctors have found it is actually a very good predictor how long you're going to live? is that true, dr. man any. >> the folks in the screen are cheating. you have to sit down and try
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to really get up. they're doing it in one phase. indeed what this is talking about muscle strength. we know muscle strength is the real next story of longevity and risk factors as we get older. we lose muscle mass, lean muscle. we literally don't make anymore after the age of 45 or so. so this shows you that if you need help with your knees or your hands, in getting up, you may have a difficulty down the road. what they did, they score. if you do it perfectly, you get 10 points. so anybody who scores five or a three or like me, that was 2 1/2, we got problems. we got work to do. so muscle strength, as a predictor for cardiovascular disease in this particular study, it was quite interesting. so something to think about. jon: all right. i will have to tell all our senior producer clint henderson that he was cheating there. >> everybody was cheating there. if i would have conducted the experiment we would have different results.
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jon: the evidence is out there. jenna: a challenge. i think jon should do it, dr. manny. >> i think he should absolutely. jenna: tattletaling, jon. jon: my problem is the multisurgical right knee. >> there is always an excuse. jenna: honestly. dr. manny. thank you. >> thank you. jon: some classic fairy tales celebrate a major milestone. so just how old is little red riding hood? jenna: can she do the sit test? jon: she probably could. she is on the google homepage today if you wonder why. the answer straight ahead aspirin, really?
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jon: well, grimm's fairy tales getting attention today after scaring children for 200 years. [laughter] the brothers, jacob and wilhelm grimm, publishing them for the first time in 1812. the children's stories lived up to their name and were rather grim. the web site google celebrating the anniversary today with a series of google doodles. jenna: doodles, huh?